Parents across the world have been asking themselves the same questions for years… what’s the secret to getting my baby to sleep?
Well, now it looks like scientists have cracked it. And it’s so simple…
Tummy time helps babies get more sleep, suggest a new study
Babies who spend a lot of time on their tummies get more sleep suggests a new study, which was published in the journal of Infant Behaviour and Development.
22 six-month-olds were surveyed by researchers from New Michigan State University. They found that those who have more tummy time a.k.a. were more active, tired themselves out.
Accelerometers were attached to babies ankles to see how active they were and how much they slept.
Results showed that babies who got the lowest amount of sleep were less active throughout the day.
“While we don’t have evidence yet that tummy time directly affects sleep, it increases physical activity,” says lead author Dr. Janet Hauck, from New Michigan State University.
“So, parents who feel their baby isn’t sleeping enough could promote tummy time during the day to boost their baby’s physical activity level.”
Please note, tummy time should always be supervised by an adult.
“The great news is we know how to increase physical activity and motor skill development in infancy. And one of the best tried and true ways is tummy time,” says Dr. Hauck.
“You lay your baby on his stomach. Being in this position, helps babies gain motor milestones quicker, which is extremely important to their language development, their social development, their physical activity.”
Sleep also helps a baby gain a healthy weight, and those who got more than 12 hours a day were around the 53rd percentile. These findings also show that babies who get lots of sleep in the first six months of life helps them achieve a healthy weight.
“We know physical activity and sleep influence each other and are strongly associated with growth in older children and adults,” Dr. Hauck added.
“Our findings suggest that this association could emerge as early as infancy, a critical developmental period.
“Parents can make 12 hours of sleep or more a priority for their baby by creating a bedtime routine and being consistent with it.
“While their little one is awake, they should encourage physical activity by interacting with their baby during floor time activities and do supervised tummy time several times a day.”
What is tummy time?
Tummy time is literally just placing your baby on their front for a short period of time in the day. This helps your little one strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles and promote motor skill.
You should start soon after birth for a few minutes a day and building up in time in increments. You can also do tummy time on your chest.
Tummy time also prevents the back of your baby’s head from developing flat spots.
Make sure your little one is awake while doing this and supervised.
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